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02.12.08

Forbes on Patent Trolling, US Government Still Stalling

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 9:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTOForbes Magazine is not renowned for being pro-Free software, but it bothers to publicise a serious issue that affects many large companies, not just Free software. Here is its new article that explains patent trolling.

But while Cannata and patent investors like Rembrandt claim to be protecting the rights of inventors, their detractors believe they are simply well-financed patent trolls–a derisive term used to describe companies with no operations other than suing big business over patents. Concern over the practice has reached Washington, D.C., where both the courts and lawmakers have been moving to protect corporate America from patent-related litigation.

The government continues to send mixed messages. It remains unknown what impact the election will have on this because power is typically exerted behind the scenes. Presidential candidates are almost irrelevant to making a difference, but some apparently beg to differ:

It may make little difference in the long run, but you might learn a lot about how the next President feels about technology if they are forced to vote on patent reform.

At the same time, the current US administration seems to be taking pride in its intellectual property law.

She said the Bush administration is still hoping that Congress will enact a set of sweeping intellectual-property law changes recommended last year. It would like politicians to criminalize “attempting” to infringe copyrights, permit wiretaps for piracy investigations, and increase penalties for intellectual property violations, among other things.

Mind the lack of separation between copyrights and intellectual property. This leads to deliberate confusion that might give software patents a perceived legitimacy that is not deserved.

Quick Mention: Novell’s Latest Disappointment and Business Loss

Posted in GNOME, KDE, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 9:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell bashing, as opposed to technical and business practice critique, is still quite rare here. It’s rare for a reason. Nevertheless, there are some issues which make Novell’s SUSE inferior to some of its sibling competitors. Here, for example, is a new complaint about YaST.

Several of the items in the Control Center’s Peripherals section also appear in YAST’s Hardware section, and there’s more duplication between Control Center’s Internet & Network and YAST’S Network Services section. Further, if you’ve got access to openSUSE, open up your YAST tool and go to the software section. Only, do it as if you were a total newcomer to both openSUSE and Linux in general – how confused do you think you would be by the TEN softare configuration tools included? There are THREE tools – count them – just for handling online updates!

YaST was a decent tool in the days of KDE, but with Novell’s focus shift to GNOME, there tends to be less consistency.

In other news, it appears as though Novell continues to lose business, which surely translates into degradation of revenue.

Washington and Lee University experienced a rapid surge in storage during a year-long migration from Novell NetWare to Microsoft Windows.

It makes another lost customer — in fact a customer that was large. It could be worse though. The deal could be lost to Novell ‘rivals’, unlike Microsoft, which is now its partner in an "alliance". Novell, which as the above indicates loses business to Microsoft, actually helps Microsoft get business and that includes pimping Windows Vista. It must be love. But it flows in a single direction.

Microvell

Novell coupons

Image from Wikimedia

Microsoft’s Burton Group Asked for an Apology, Other Proxies Explored

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Virtualisation, Xen at 9:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proxy wars using so-called ‘analysts’

Microsoft’s connections with the Burton Group were shown and explained yesterday, so that needn’t be repeated. It is, however, worth adding IBM’s latest remark on the Group’s smears against ODF.

Guy [Burton Group], excuse me, did you say “conflicts of interest”? Please explain. Or maybe when Peter O’Kelly comes back from speaking at Microsoft’s Office Developers Conference he can explain it for us?

[...]

The Burton Group has denigrated the work and the members of the OASIS Open Document Format Technical Committee (of which I am Co-Chair) with published statements that have been shown to be false. The Burton Group owes us an apology and an immediate retraction.

Only yesterday in the news we saw another fine example of proxy battles, namely:

Last October, Whitworth, 52, threatened a proxy battle unless Sprint made leadership changes. Later that month, Sprint Chief Executive Gary Forsee stepped down. He was succeeded by Hesse in December.

It remains a fact that the Burton Group is acting as a proxy or a mouthpiece to Microsoft against rival technologies such as Google Apps and ODF (mind the citations at the bottom). It is protecting its interest. Most shameful is the fact that many reporters failed to see this. Yahoo is coming under similar types of pressure at the moment and some of those who are influenced (or somehow compensated) by Microsoft get visibility in the press.

There are many other examples. All of these litigious by-proxy battles aside, another proxy Microsoft is using at the moment is Citrix, which based on this new article continues to hold Xen back.

Did the Citrix acquisition slow XenSource down? Looks that way to us, since XenSource used to say that 4.1 would arrive in the fourth quarter of 2007.

[...]

So, Citrix – with its good chum Microsoft – will continue to present VMware as the proprietary overlord of the virtualization game.

You can read more about this stunt here. It is a move against VMWare and Red Hat, of which Microsoft is afraid.

Related articles:


Microsoft's proxy strategy (2007):

Microsoft threats

A = Apple
C = Corel
F = Fuji Xerox
Cx = Citrix
L = Linspire
N = Novell
S = Samsung
T = TurboLinux
X = Xandros


Links 12/02/2008: Lots of GNU/Linux Laptops for Children, Mobile Linux Breakthroughs

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peter O’Kelly (Burton Group) and Wouter Van Vugt Go Batting for Monopolisation

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The choice of having limited/no choice

Stephane Rodriguez has brought to our attention some more evidence that the Burton Group is indeed what we refer to as "a Microsoft puppet". We already have a lot of evidence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23], so the Burton Group can run, but it can’t hide. Just like many other so-called "analysts", it proves to be another stack of spokesmen which, just as the "evangelism is war" leaked document reveals, is part of Microsoft’s long-established strategy for deception.

“In essence, Microsoft bought OOXML support from Novell in order to promote its own selfish interests.”The latest exhibit comes from this page which shows how close the Burton Group’s research director, Peter O’Kelly, stays to Microsoft. We already knew this (see references above), but it’s nice to have gathered another exhibit for an already large pile.

Also listed in this page (in many slots in fact) is Wouter Van Vugt. We held a short discussion about it here.

Further back in the past we also saw a Novell Vice President, Miguel de Icaza, batting for Microsoft's OOXML and presenting in favour of OOXML at a conference. It was expected given de Icaza’s views and biases, not the mention the fact that Novell must implement OOXML. Microsoft handed a binding contract to Novell. In essence, Microsoft bought OOXML support from Novell in order to promote its own selfish interests. All these ‘puppets’ must have cost Microsoft billions of dollars, but there is a return on this investment. After all, as Microsoft’s Doug Mahugh bluntly puts it:

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!”

Novell marionette
Steve Ballmer’s puppet du jour. Which will it be next?

Links 12/01/2008: GNU/Linux Spreads; Microsoft Could Resort to Extortion in Yahoo! Case

Posted in News Roundup at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Acquire to Exploit, Acquire to Eliminate

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Virtualisation, Xen at 1:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A takeover — let alone a hostile one — is the most aggressive form of embrace. What follows tends to disserve the acquired party and quite often its customers as well.

If you watch the news very carefully, you’ll notice that Microsoft is still seeding Silverlight in companies it acquires. I published an article about it last week, in relation to Yahoo. And now it happens to be Ustream that Microsoft wants to exploit.

Our tipster also mentions that Microsoft would use Ustream as a way to promote its Adobe Flash competitor, Silverlight.

As a friendly reminder, consider the following articles again. They talk about Silverlight’s case against GNU/Linux.

It is worth re-emphasising that Novell, Silverlight and OOXML are by all means inter-connected. They cannot be be considered in isolation because a lot of politics is involved. Novell supports Silverlight and OOXML simply because it is in Microsoft’s best interests, very much at the expense of GNU/Linux users who suffer from both.

Microsoft Novell

Speaking of hostile and political acquisitions, consider our recent writeups about Citrix and Xen and then read this new article which confirms that Xen’s days (as a hypervisor at least) are numbered.

Although it was only made public officially on Monday, the news was revealed in information sent out by Citrix last week and picked up on by CNET News.com sister site ZDNet in a blog comment. “Citrix officials have indicated that they will use the hot XenSource branding, but de-emphasize its identity as a virtualization company,” according to the posting.

Citrix is a close partner of Microsoft, which very much fears the disruptive trend that is virtualisation. Attempts to extinguish virtualisation should therefore be seen as highly suspicious.

It’s hardly surprising that Ubuntu has just steered away from Xen and chose KVM instead. Unless someone forks Xen, it might as well just sink as a virtualisation solution for GNU/Linux.

USS Towers - sinking

SCO Sacks 26% of Its Existing Workforce, Trend Micro Comes Under Fire

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Patents, SCO, Security at 1:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SCO

Eventually, it’s highly unlikely that SCO will survive. SCO chose to sue companies rather than produce software. What’s more, SCO chose Free software as a target for its lawsuit. Let the latest news from SCO teach us all a good lesson.

Lindon company cuts 26 percent of work force

The bankrupt SCO Group Inc. cut its total work force by 30 workers, or about 26 percent, citing an effort to reduce ongoing operating expenses. The layoffs began on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, another company brave enough to bring allegations against Free software faces the wrath of its own customers, many of whom rely on ClamAV.

Trend Micro patent claim provokes FOSS community, leads to boycott

[...]

Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center is aware of the case, and is considering a patent re-examination request or another intervention in the case.

Contacted by Linux.com, Barracuda’s Drako acknowledged the array of reactions by saying, “We at Barracuda want to extend our thanks to the tremendous number of individuals who expressed support for our defending the use of ClamAV free and open source software, as well as to the community members that have submitted prior art.”

If Trend Micro hasn’t already, it is about to find out that the case is about free software after all.

We mentioned this case in the past [1, 2] and below appears the banner which represents this boycott.

Boycott Trend Micro

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